Girls are weird. Like back-stabbing, sell-a-sister-out, love-her / hate-her weird. They are products of their environment, good or bad, and as such can be little terrorists or goodwill ambassadors based on their moods which are (sometimes) a direct result of Mars, Venus, and Jupiter being in perfect alignment. Maybe.
How do I know this? I happen to be a girl (what!) who gave birth to my own girl fourteen years ago. My mother is a girl (natch) as was my grandmother before her, and so are all four of my sisters. My family was a matriarchy from the top down and bottom up, no two ways about it. When grandma said ‘go,’ we went wherever she wanted us to go. When mom said ‘cut your hair’ we cut our hair and asked her if she liked it when it was done. I know a thing or two about girls, even if I don’t understand us even a little.
When my daughter was born I was all kinds of excited to bring her into the matriarchy of my family and was 100% confident in my ability to teach her at every age. I mean I survived all those ages, so surely I could teach her how to survive too. I was wrong of course, and as a connoisseur of women, I should’ve known I would be; if I’ve learned anything about life it’s that girls, like snowflakes, are all completely unique. What made parenting my daughter even more
difficult delightful was the added bonus that as different as we were, we were also basically the exact same person. This was adorable until my baby girl turned 5 and realized mothers are horrible people and one must disagree with them, violently if possible, at all times.
At this point I’m sure you’ d like me to tell you things have changed now that Baby Girl is fourteen.
They have not. And I expect they never will, which is okay.
In kindergarten, things really changed because Baby Girl was attending school every day with other girls. Girls who didn’t have much of an opinion about how their mothers did things. Girls who allowed their mothers to braid their hair into intricate patterns and color-coordinate their outfits. Baby Girl was having none of that and, like a rookie, I argued with her about both choices. Dumb, dumb, stupid dumb. I thought maybe other mothers were judging me because of the way Baby Girl dressed (she dressed like a homeless person, if you’re curious) and styled her own hair (in a unicorn ponytail in the middle of her forehead) and looking back I cannot believe I cared.
WHO CARES what the other mothers think?! What does YOUR DAUGHTER think?
Does your daughter feel a huge sense of independence dressing herself in mismatched purple corduroy pants, pink glitter flip-flop wedge sandals and a bright red sweater? Then by all means, leave her alone. Tell her you love the way she dresses and that you celebrate her variety because it means she’s thinking for herself and that makes her strong. Tell her you love her unicorn ponytail and the thirty three sparkly clips in her hair because you can tell she feels awesome when she does her hair like that. Allow her to be her weird, weird self and teach her with both your words and actions that you love every single thing about her, and never ever allow your own insecurities guide your parenting decisions. Weird is awesome, weird is unique, weird is strong and cool and different and your daughters need to know you support every single thing about them. They will flourish under your watchful and supportive care.
Teach your daughters to celebrate their weird.